NEW ZEALAND MUSICIAN MAGAZINE
reviewed by Amanda Mills October 2015
Archive – Alex Moffat Selection
Vocalist/ Guitarist Alex Moffat has been making music in various guises since the 1980’s.
After meeting Bassist Steve Healey and Drummer Jacko Jackson he put together
the Alex Moffat Selection in 2013. He used the band to promote his second album, a
compilation of his best studio recordings over the last 30 years.
Moffat has a good way with a melody, and an engaging and warm voice that connects
the tracks on ‘Archive’, as all are disparate in style – from folk, to rock, reggae, country and
Ross Mcdermott produced much of the album and many well known session musicians add
their talents to the recordings. They included members of the Narcs, Nairobi Trio, Graham Brazier’
Legionarres and the likes of the Chills Peter Alison and a young Sarah Spicer (X Factor top ten)
Though most of the songs date back to the late ’80s and 1990’s they don’t sound dated.
The ballad ‘Money’ has strings, tinkling piano, violin and spacey guitar, but also space which saves
it from sounding like a relic.
One of the most interesting tracks is ‘Act of Love’, a waltz that could be straight out of a carnival
with its piano accordian accompaniement and Tom Waits like vocal. Archive shouldn’t work as well
as it does, as the songs veer between styles so dramatically, but there is a consistency in the songwriting
that glues the 11 tracks together making it a pleasure to listen through.
ALEX MOFFAT: East
Napier-based singer/songwriter Alex Moffat has three decades in the industry to his name, but this 13-track collection of heartfelt and likeable ballads is his first solo CD release. Clearly influenced by a long line of crooners who play their music sitting down, Moffat’s music is centred around his smooth and brooding voice and ever present acoustic guitar, with occasional interjections from the harmonica. The minimalist approach gives it the feel of road music, and half the tracks are indeed inspired by emotions linked to moving from Auckland to a new rural life in Napier. The other half are revamped songs from his old projects in Auckland, and the album swings between melancholy numbers such as Dirty Coat and more upbeat tracks like Jesus on the Radio that on the right night, in the right bar, could easily turn into an all-inclusive sing-along. Produced by Dan Browne at Indelible Studios inNapier,